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  • An Oracle Technical White Paper December 2013; v1.2

    Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

    Introduction ......................................................................................... 2 About the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance........................................... 3 About VMware vSphere ...................................................................... 3 Reference Architecture Overview ....................................................... 4

    Architectural Components............................................................... 5 Reference Architecture Design ....................................................... 7 Partition Alignment ........................................................................ 10 Application Performance Validation .............................................. 12 Microsoft Exchange Server Jetstress Validation........................... 12 OLTP Database Validation ........................................................... 13 DSS Database Validation ............................................................. 15

    Conclusion ........................................................................................ 16

  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

    2

    Introduction

    The reference architecture described in this paper demonstrates the design and testing of an Oracle

    ZFS Storage Appliance configuration featuring the VMware vSphere 4 virtualization platform. It is

    intended to help IT administrators plan a virtualization deployment with confidence that the

    configuration will meet their IT and business needs.

    This reference architecture highlights a multi-application deployment of mail servers, database servers,

    web servers, and various development and test servers. A multipool approach is used to help

    consolidate and scale differing workloads on a single storage platform while maintaining performance

    levels and meeting service level agreement (SLA) requirements for each application.

    Highlighted in this paper are:

    A multipool design with multiple data store repositories in VMware vSphere 4

    Use of the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Hybrid Storage Pool with flash media

    A high availability design for storage access and performance

    The importance of partition alignment in VMware

    Test validation of the reference architecture

    The key components of the reference architecture described in this paper are:

    Sun ZFS Storage 7420 cluster

    VMware vSphere 4

    NOTE: References to Sun ZFS Storage Appliance, Sun ZFS Storage 7000 series, and ZFS Storage Appliance all refer to the same family of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance products.

  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

    3

    About the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance

    The Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance offers innovations in storage that include a DTrace-based storage analytics tool, flash-based Hybrid Storage Pools, enterprise-class data services, massive scalability, and a choice of storage protocols, while delivering significant cost savings. The Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance features a common, easy-to-use management interface that has the industrys most comprehensive analytics environment to help isolate and resolve issues to minimize business impact.

    Oracle offers several models of the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance to meet the scalability and availability needs of todays demanding applications. All of the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance models utilize a common storage software foundation, and some offer up to 2 TB of read cache, enabling a typical appliance response time in the low single digit milliseconds. Write flash, available on all the platforms, enables response times of less than one millisecond for synchronous writes.

    The latest Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance platforms offer faster CPUs, bigger flash cache, larger storage capacity, and better throughput to meet the storage requirements of mission-critical applications.

    About VMware vSphere

    VMware vSphere, the industrys first cloud operating system, leverages the power of virtualization to transform data centers into dramatically simplified cloud computing infrastructures. VMware vSphere helps preserve business-critical application availability by enabling transparent migration of applications and files from one storage array to another. IT organizations can deliver the next generation of flexible and reliable IT services, using internal and external resources securely and with low risk. Key benefits of vSphere include:

    Broad interoperability across servers, storage, operating systems, and applications

    A robust, reliable foundation

    An established install base

  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

    4

    Reference Architecture Overview

    Figure 1 shows a high-level overview of the physical components of the reference architecture. The reference configuration consists of two physical VMware ESX 4.1 servers, a 10 GbE network infrastructure, and Oracle's Sun ZFS Storage 7420 with six disk shelves. A total of 24 virtual machines are configured in the architecture and are running a mail server workload, an online transaction processing (OLTP) database workload, and a decision support system (DSS) database workload.

    Figure 1. Physical components of the reference architecture

  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

    5

    Architectural Components

    The following tables describe the hardware, virtual machine, and software components of the reference architecture.

    Table 1 shows the hardware components used.

    TABLE 1. HARDWARE COMPONENTS USED IN REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE

    EQUIPMENT QUANTITY CONFIGURATION

    Primary storage 1 cluster (2

    controllers)

    Sun ZFS Storage 7420 cluster

    256 GB DRAM per controller

    2 x 512 GB read cache SSD per controller

    2 x 20 2 TB SAS-2 disk trays

    4 x 24 2 TB SAS-2 disk trays

    8 x 18 GB write cache SSD

    2 x dual port 10 GbE NIC

    Network 2 10 GbE network switch

    Server 2 Sun Fire X4170 M2 Server

    72 GB DRAM

    2 internal HDDs

    1 x dual port 10 GbE NIC

    Table 2 shows the virtual machine components used.

    TABLE 2. VIRTUAL MACHINE COMPONENTS USED IN REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE

    OPERATING

    SYSTEM

    QUANTITY CONFIGURATION

    Microsoft

    Windows

    2008 R2 (x64)

    12 2 Microsoft Exchange Servers

    4 Mail Utility servers

    5 Windows development and test servers

    1 domain controller

    Oracle Linux

    5.4

    12 2 OLTP database servers

    2 DSS database servers

    4 database utility servers

    4 development and test servers

  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

    6

    Table 3 shows the software components used.

    TABLE 3. SOFTWARE COMPONENTS USED IN REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE

    SOFTWARE VERSION

    Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance software 2010.Q3.3

    Microsoft Exchange Server Jetstress verification tool 2010 (x64)

    Oracle ORION I/O calibration tool 11.1.0.7.0

    VMware vCenter Virtualization Management software 4.1.0 (Build 258902)

    VMware ESX Hypervisor software 4.1.0 (Build 260247)

  • Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Reference Architecture for VMware vSphere4

    7

    Reference Architecture Design

    In the reference architecture, the VMware ESX Hypervisor accesses the Sun ZFS Storage 7420 using Network File System (NFS) protocol over a 10 GbE interface. The Sun ZFS Storage 7420 cluster provides two separate controllers that can be configured in an Active/Active cluster implementation to provide simultaneous access by both controllers to the workload.

    A primary consideration in performance and capacity planning is the storage pool layout of the disk trays. Six disk trays are used in the reference configuration, with three trays of disks configured for each controller. The six trays are configured as shown in Table 4.

    TABLE 4. POOL LAYOUT OF DISK TRAYS

    POOL NAME / CONTROLLER

    ASSIGNMENT

    POOL CONFIGURATION POOL USE

    Pool1 Controller1 Double-parity RAID

    6 data disks, 1 write SSD, 0 read cache SSD

    Microsoft Windows virtual machine

    boot drive virtual disks

    Pool2 Controller1 Mirrored

    44 data disks, 2 write SSDs, 2 read cache SSDs

    Microsoft Exchange Server database

    virtual disks

    Pool3 Controller1 Mirrored

    18 data disks, 1 write SSD, 0 read cache SSD

    MS Exchange Server log virtual disks

    Pool4 Controller2 Double-parity RAID

    6 data disks, 1 write SSD, 0 read cache SSD

    Oracle Linux virtual machine boot

    drive virtual disks

    Pool5 Controller2 Mirrored

    44 data disks, 2 write SSDs, 2 read cache SSDs

    OLTP database virtual disks

    Pool6 Controller2 Double-parity RAID

    18 data disks, 1 write SSD, 0 read cache SSD

    DSS database virtual disks

    As shown in Table 4, the virtual boot disks for both the Windows virtual machines and Oracle Linux virtual machines and the DSS database virtual disks are stored in pools configured as double-parity RAID. These virtual disks do not require high random read performance but instead must be configured to maximize sequential, large block I/O performance.

    The Microsoft Exchange Server database files, log files and the OLTP database files are stored in pools that are configured for mirrored

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